Robert Rosene: Legacy of Support and Service

Robert W. Rosene (BCE 1945, MS 1948), founding partner of Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik & Associates, Inc. (BRA), died on June 9, 2020.

Robert (Bob) Rosene was a dedicated alumnus of the University. He served as president of the college’s alumni society from 1987 to 1988, and he was a member of the college’s Board of Directors from 1995 to 2002. He was active in numerous professional and technical organizations including the Consulting Engineers Council of Minnesota, the Minneapolis and St. Paul Society of American Military Engineers, and the American Consulting Engineers Council. He was named Engineer of the Year by the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers in 1993.

Rosene served as vice president and principal of BRA from 1959 until his retirement in 1992. The firm is now part of Stantec Consulting Services. Rosene was an outstanding leader whose expertise consisted of the design and project management of parks, swimming pools, and buildings for government and industry.

Rosene was mindful of those who supported him and encouraged others to support upcoming engineers:

“…many people helped me along the way as instructors and mentors. We need to keep that in mind as we help young engineers.”
– Robert W. Rosene

Rosene gave generously to UMN and to the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering. He and his wife, Joyce, established the Robert W. and Joyce H. Rosene Student Lounge located on the 2nd floor of the Civil Engineering Building, the current home of the granite-topped, steel-bridge-based study table, which supports student learning in a literal way each day students are on campus. Robert and Joyce Rosene also donated funds to support the Rosene Room for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter.

Along with his business partners Otto Bonestroo and Joseph Anderlik, Robert Rosene established scholarships and fellowships to help students. The Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik Undergraduate Scholarship supports undergraduate students in civil engineering. The Otto G. Bonestroo & Robert W. Rosene Graduate Fellowship supports graduate students.

The Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik & Associates Undergraduate Faculty Award was established to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and advising, with the recipient faculty member chosen by student vote.

“As an engineer, those of us who have had the privilege of a good education should be supportive and active in the affairs of the civil engineering department. We also have an obligation to help the department with scholarships for qualifying students—along with awarding scholarships to students with higher economic needs.”
– Robert W. Rosene

The Rosenes were also generous supporters of the College of Education and Human Development, honoring Joyce’s bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, and speech. They were also instrumental donors in establishing the Acara program, a multifaceted, entrepreneurial course sequence designed to assist students to start ventures that will solve real-world social or environmental problems. Acara includes courses, internships, study abroad opportunities, partnerships in other countries, and a competition through which students receive support to refine their ideas. Honoring this passion of Bob’s, the family encourages memorials in support of the University of Minnesota student group of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-UMN) and the ACARA programs.

In light of his many accomplishments, Robert Rosene was honored with the University’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007. The award is the highest recognition presented to graduates who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.

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